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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Saturday - March 20, 2004

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Laws
Title: Weed Laws
Answered by: Sage Kawecki

QUESTION:

Help! My neighborhood wants to mow down my native landscape! Can you suggest a resource regarding city regulations and native plant landscaping?

ANSWER:

Cities and neighborhood associations often adopt weed laws and landscape ordinances that prohibit grasses and flowers over a certain height in an effort to prevent untidy or abandoned properties from becoming a hazard or devaluing property values. Unfortunately, these same laws and ordinances become restrictive in attempting to define beauty, and can conflict with native landscaping. As the native plant landscaping movement gains more momentum, the need to revise these laws and ordinances will arise. The EPA has developed an informative website that discusses how to challenge weed laws at: their website. I also recommend reviewing an informative article posted from the Wild Ones website.
 

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